University Scholarships for Students from Burma

Mar 12, 2013

Two more scholarships for students from Burma

BONUS DAY - Wednesday 13th March!

Tomorrow, Wednesday 13th March 2013, is BONUS DAY at GlobalGiving. GlobalGiving will match donations made through up to $1,000 per donor at 30%. There is $50,000 available in matching and they are offering a $1,000 bonus award for the most individual donors and another for the most money raised. Matching begins at 9 am EST and lasts until funds run out or 11:59 pm. So, a great day to support university scholarships for students from Burma -


A big thank you to all of you who have donated to our ‘University Scholarships For Students From Burma’ project on GlobalGiving. So far, we have raised a total of US$ 54,620 since the 1st September 2010 so we are now more than half way to our target of US$ 99,000!

After the deduction of GlobalGiving administrative fees, we have now received a total of approximately US$ 50,069 in disbursements from GlobalGiving for the University Scholarships For Students From Burma project (funds are received over time in Thai Baht at different exchange rates, so USD figures can only be approximately calculated). By the 12th March 2013, we had disbursed approximately US$ 50,069 to scholarship awards.

Selection and Awards

Since the last report on 4th December, the Arohana Scholarship Fund Committee has made two further awards totalling approximately US$ 3,692.

The total funds now raised by the ‘University Scholarships for Students from Burma’ project have therefore supported 45 awards enabling 38 students from marginalised communities across Burma to start or continue their Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD studies at universities across Asia.

The recipients of these awards comprise 18 women and 21 men, ranging in age from 19 to 51 (average age of approximately 27), representing nine ethnic groups, studying 28 different majors at 17 different universities in five countries across Asia.

Award Recipient Profiles

Name: Naw Purity

Age: 24

Ethnicity: Karen

Subject of Study: English Language Teaching

Level of Study: Master’s

Institution of Study: Assumption University, Thailand

Award amount: US$ 2,825

Brief overview of candidate

In the village where Naw Purity grew up, it was difficult to pursue education. The war between the Burmese Army and the Karen groups had forced families to move around frequently, and many schools to close. Naw Purity’s parents, who themselves had not attended school in their youth because of the conflict, were determined to see their daughter pursue a brighter future. So, she studied in the monastery of the village, and then moved to live with her grandmother in the town of Hpa-An to obtain higher education. During her time in Hpa-An, first completing high school and then a Bachelor’s degree in English, Naw Purity was financially supported by her grandmother and uncle as her parents were unable to contribute. Early in 2011, she also completed a Master’s degree in English from Mawlamyine University. During her studies, she volunteered as an English teacher as well as participating in early child care and development programs.

 In 2011, Naw Purity passed the entrance exam to allow her to study at Assumption University in Thailand. Again, her uncle and relatives supported her financially to take up this opportunity. Unfortunately, Naw Purity’s uncle suffered from cancer and has since passed away, and her brother is now also financially supporting his wife to study a Master’s degree so Naw Purity was facing a very difficult financial situation in order to graduate from her program. This grant has allowed her to study in her final semester. Following graduation she would like to return to Karen State to share her knowledge and education with her home community.

In her own words:

“I hope the good education can also change the mind-set of our poor people. I believe that I can help them more effectively if I study MA (ELT) in Assumption University.  By learning this, I can develop the community; help poor children and vulnerable separated children to have opportunity to study and improve their moral, behavior and lifestyle.  I will be able to set up effective learning centre with modern technique and tools in those areas.  Not only that, I can also train other teachers and share them my knowledge and technique in teaching.  It is important to keep education alive in my country and to promote education for new generation.

I hope that I can accomplish my educational goal in order to improve the education systems in Myanmar. I will do my best to become a qualified teacher and I will serve for the benefits of the community and the country in Myanmar.”

Name: Mi Zar Zar

Age: 28

Ethnicity: Mon

Subject of Study: Health Economics

Level of Study: Master’s

Institution of Study: Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Award amount: US$ 867

Brief overview of candidate

Mi Zar Zar grew up in Mon state, and lived in a small village with her family as the youngest of seven siblings. When she was six years old, a Mon armed group based themselves in her village. Conflict between the armed group and the regime led to arrests being made. Her father was arrested and imprisoned for three years, and the armed group could no longer enter the village. This was a very hard time for the family and especially for her mother.

However, Mi Zar Zar worked hard at her education and graduated from high school with a distinction, after which she attended Nazeem University to study nursing and graduated to work as a nurse in private clinics in the cities for three years.

After working for some years, Mi Zar Zar decided to pursue the course that she believes will be of most value to her country. Understanding that Burma is now going through a transformative period, Mi Zar Zar sees that there are opportunities to positively affect healthcare policy. By studying Health and Economics, and gaining a greater understanding of how these two sectors work together in other countries, Mi Zar Zar wants to improve the future of Burmese healthcare, ensuring that disadvantaged people have access to good health care.

The top-up grant issued is to fund Mi Zar Zar to return to Myanmar to conduct primary data research for her thesis, and to extend her studies for one semester to complete her thesis.

In her own words:

“I have decided however that it is time to get back to my original path, and further my health education, as I have been interested in contributing to Burma’s healthcare ever since I worked as a nurse. Much of what I witnessed taught me that Burma’s healthcare system is in dire need of development. I was particularly moved by the many cases I saw involving women with serious health issues resulting from illegal abortions. Women are not given the information and knowledge which would allow them to take care of their own bodies, and this can change their lives irrevocably, either through serious health problems or the burden of an unwanted child. This is just one example of the many ways in which there is a real need for information in Burma, and for a reform of the healthcare system. I felt inspired and motivated to work towards the development of these services, and the improvement of healthcare, for people in Burma and in particular in the Mon community.”

Future Plans

The Arohana Scholarship Fund (ASF) is expecting further funds to be disbursed in late April by GlobalGiving, at which point further scholarship awards will be made.

Closing Statement

We hope that this report shows clearly the potential of these scholarship recipients to become catalysts for incremental social change in Burma, and that you can appreciate the direct link between quality higher education and grassroots development in communities in Burma. We hope that this report will inspire you to continue to support us in the future. If you have any questions about this report, or about our work, please do get in touch.

With our best wishes,

Katie Hodges
Program Manager, Scholarships and Student Support
Thabyay Education Network

About Project Reports

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Project Leader

U Soe Lay

Senior Program Manager
Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Thailand

Where is this project located?

Map of University Scholarships for Students from Burma